Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I am reading a wonderful book by Richard Neuhaus: Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.

Here they are:

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."

"Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother."

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

"I thirst."

"It is finished."

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

Last year, on Good Friday, during the veneration of the Cross, we sang the sentence that one of the thieves says to Jesus as he is dying on the cross: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. It is a haunting melody. Listen to it here. I am like that thief. I never want to be separated from Jesus. The second Word is Jesus reassuring him (and me and all of us).

Last week I attended Palm Sunday services in Texas with my sister. What joy! It's been years and years since we've prayed and sung together and I'd forgotten how beautifully our voices blend. The fourth Word: My God, my God ... is actually the beginning of Psalm 22. I was struck listening to the verses how prophetic it was. And now, here we are ... Good Friday.

Paraphrasing Neuhaus: Do not rush to Easter. Stay awhile at the foot of the cross. Let your heart be broken.



Bish Denham said...

Oh I'm so glad you got to spend some time with our sister. (We were so the same state!)

Have a joyous Easter, Vijaya.

Evelyn said...

Thank you for sharing, Vijaya. We attended the Tenebrae service at our church last night--focused on many of those same words--and it was so meaningful.

Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quote at the end, Vijaya. That's a quote that'll stay with me for a while.

Marcia said...

Beautiful. And we need Friday before Sunday. Thinking a bit today about how His followers must have felt on Saturday...Have a joyous Resurrection Sunday, Vijaya.

WordWrangler said...

staying broken...

Vijaya said...

Thank you, my dear friends and a blessed Easter season to all of you.

Bish, I thought about you last weekend ... so close and yet so far. Texas is a BIG state.

Ev, if the service was meaningful, you will love reading this book.

Anne, I'm glad. Like Donna, I stay broken, yet knowing that Christ makes us whole.

Marcia, I cannot even imagine how devastating it must've been to Jesus's followers. To think God is dead. Still the earth turned. But as Donna mentioned in her post -- Truth cannot stay in a grave. I'd think after the ressurection, the Truth was self-evident.

Angela said...

Glad you had a nice Easter!